Paramedic to RN Bridge Programs 2023

If you’re a paramedic, you may be considering transitioning to a career as a registered nurse. Constantly facing emergencies and unpredictable situations can take an emotional and physical toll. RNs also earn significantly more money than paramedics and have more opportunities for advancement and long-term job stability. If you’re thinking about advancing your career to become an RN, you’ll need to go through a Paramedic to RN bridge program. Read on to learn everything you need to know about them and how to make the transition.

Paramedics who want to build on their extensive medical training and experience to pursue an RN degree can do so through a Paramedic-to-RN bridge program. These accelerated programs provide the education and training needed to make the transition from one career to the other while allowing you to continue working. 

Paramedic-to-RN bridge programs can lead to an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Both of these degrees provide courses in nursing theory and patient care planning, as well as other pertinent classes and clinical training experiences.

At the end of either program, your final step will be to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which provides certification as a registered nurse, and to apply for your RN license through your state’s Board of Nursing.

1. Herzing University

Herzing University promotes the belief that paramedic skills and experience provide a unique foundation for a career in the nursing field.

The Herzing program provides a bridge for paramedics to become registered nurses fast with six on-campus locations:

  • Brookfield, WI
  • Kenosha, WI
  • Madison, WI
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Orlando, FL
  • Tampa, FL

Each campus provides nursing education for two different nursing degrees:

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: About $26,000 depending on program
  • Program length: 16-28 months, depending on your degree choice (ADN or BSN)
  • Accreditation: AACN, CCNE
  • Requirements:
  • Contact Info:
    • Phone number:1-800-596-0724
  • Are Online Options Available? No
    • Some classwork can be completed online
  • Types of programs:
    • Online classes with on-campus core courses at six Herzing campus locations

2. Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College’s paramedic-to-RN bridge program offers paramedics a simple pathway to becoming licensed as an RN.

This program provides essential theory and clinical competencies to ensure students succeed in their nursing careers. The program is “non-competitive” and serves students on a “first-come-first-serve basis.” 

The school usually accepts applications until their program is full, so if you are considering Mesa Community College, make sure you get your application in quickly!

Mesa Community College has one program for paramedics that results in an ADN. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. They also have two locations:

  • Mesa Community College – Dobson campus, 833 West Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202
  • Mesa Community College – Red Mountain Campus, 7110 East McKellips Road, Mesa, AZ 85207

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state tuition: $2,070 USD
    • Out-of-state tuition: $7,854 
  • Program length: 2 years
  • Accreditation: ACEN, Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Requirements:
    • High school graduation or GED
    • Transcripts with a minimum average GPA of 3.0
    • Education Courses required:
      • Fundamental chemistry with lab or one-year high school chemistry
      • Human anatomy and physiology I
      • Human anatomy and physiology II
      • Microbiology 
      • MAT141, 142 or higher college mathematics
      • English composition
      • Pharmacology (within 24 months of application)
    • Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
    • HESI A2 Admission Exam
    • Copy of current, valid, and unrestricted Arizona or National Paramedic Registry Certificate card
    • One letter of recommendation
    • Paramedic work experience within the last three years
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 480-461-7000
  • Are Online Options Available?  No
  • Types of programs
    • An ADN program with online classes and on-campus core courses at two campus locations

3. Dixie State University

Dixie State University offers a face-to-face, in-person ADN program for paramedics who want a faster path to becoming registered nurses. 

Upon graduation, students earn a 2-year ADN degree. Students then have an opportunity to continue for another two years and earn a 4-year BSN degree.

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: approximately $7207 per year ($362.84 per credit)
  • Program length: 2 years
  • Accreditation: ACEN, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Requirements 
    • Complete required prerequisite classes
    • Fill out the application and forms
      • Provide paramedic work experience and volunteer work experience
    • Pay the $50 application fee through the campus portal
    • HESI A2 Admission Exam
    • Must have a current unencumbered Utah or National Paramedic Registry Certification.
    • Complete all required prerequisite courses before beginning the nursing program with a “C” or higher
    • Must have 1000 hours of documented paramedic work experience within the last three years
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone: 435-879-4797
  • Are Online Options Available? No
  • Types of programs
    • On-campus ADN program for paramedics

4. Howard Community College

Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland, offers paramedics in Maryland an opportunity to bypass the first two semesters of the regular RN program and earn an ADN in less time. 

Their paramedic to RN pathway programs are available in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. 

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • In-county $142 per credit
    • Out-of county, $245 per credit
    • Out-of-state $304 per credit
      • The cost per credit hour may vary depending on where a student lives. Students do not pay for more than 15 credit hours, no matter the number of classes they take.
  • Program length: 1-2 years depending on part-time or full-time
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and ACEN
  • Application deadline: Feb 15th
  • Requirements 
    • Meet with an allied health admissions counselor at the school and submit an application
    • Pass the HESI Clinical Nursing Admission Assessment with a score of 70% or higher.
    • Complete the required coursework with a 2.0 or higher
    • Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended 
    • Hold an active, unencumbered National Registered Paramedic license from the National Registry of EMT
    • Complete a supplemental application for the paramedic to RN pathways program and submit it online. 
    • Take a drug screen and have a criminal background check
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 443-518-4230
  • Are Online Options Available? No
  • Types of programs
    • ADN program with online classes and on-campus core courses and clinician rotations
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5. Albany State University

Albany State University has a healthcare-professional-to-RN-bridge program for students with paramedic or licensed practical nurse (LPN) licensure. The program accepts a new batch of students every five semesters. Therefore programs may start in the spring, fall, or summer. 

Albany State University’s program is accelerated and only meets one day a week for classroom lectures and clinical rotations. Most classes are located on campus. Some courses are hybrid, and some are entirely online.

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: $5,924 
  • Program length: 2 years
  • Accreditation: ACEN, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • Application deadline: April 1st
  • Requirements 
    • Hold a valid paramedic certification or LPN license with a minimum of 1 year of experience
    • Complete required prerequisite classes with a minimum “C” grade
    • Have no previous failing grades from other nursing programs
    • Transcripts
    • Preference is given to students with the highest GPAs and entrance exam scores
    • Take the TEAS exam with a minimum score of 65
  • Contact Info 
    • Phone number: (229) 500-2000
  • Are Online Options Available? Yes
  • Types of programs
    • An ADN with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations

6. Clark State College

Students who attend Clark State College’s paramedic-to-RN program in Ohio can earn an ADN. Students also have an option to continue their education for another two years and earn a BSN. 

Clark state also boasts great employment and licensure examination results:

  • 75% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX
  • Job placement rates: 100% of students became employed within 12 months of graduation from the program.

The school also abides by a strict 14:1 faculty to student ratio. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to earn licensure and start practicing as registered nurses.

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $137.33 per credit unit
    • Out-of-state: $274.66 per credit unit
  • Program length: Two years (four years if completing a BSN)
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Requirements 
    • Apply to the college and the paramedic-to-RN program online
    • Transcripts
    • Complete the TEAS exam
    • Complete all required prerequisites and a nurse aide training course 
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Have current CPR/BLS certification
    • Meet criminal background check and drug screen requirements 
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 937.328.6028
  •  Are Online Options Available? Yes
  • Types of a programs
    • An ADN or BSN program with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations

7. Wachesha County Community College

At Waukesha County Community College in Wisconsin, paramedics may have an opportunity to enter an ADN program in the third semester – bypassing the first year of courses!

This program offers a personalized progression pathway that may help you become an RN without repeating the classwork, knowledge, and skills you’ve already learned.

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • Wisconsin residents:$143.45 per credit
    • Out-of-state residents:  $215.18 per credit
  • Program length: 1-2 years
  • Accreditation: ACEN, HLC
  • Application deadline: June 13th
    • Requirements 
    • Complete the NLN PAX Exam
    • Apply online and pay the $30 application fee
    • Submit your official high school transcripts
    • Completion of 2,000 hours of work experience as a paramedic 
    • Submit a copy of your state paramedic license by email to the admissions office.
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 262-691-5566
  • Are Online Options Available? Yes
  • Types of programs
    • An ADN program with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations

8. Southwest Baptists Community College

Southwest Baptists Community College offers paramedic to RN (ADN) programs at two locations:

  • Salem, MO
  • Springfield, MO

As a Christ-centered university, Southwest Baptist University promotes the integration of faith and academics in all programs and degrees.

Students who complete this program are prepared to practice as registered nurses in various health care settings. Graduates earn an associate’s degree and are ready to take the NCLEX-RN for licensure. 

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: $495 per credit hour
  • Program length: 2 years
  • Accreditation: ACEN, HLC
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Requirements 
    • Submit application
    • High school transcripts
    • Current, unencumbered LPN or paramedic license, with IV certification
    • Clean drug screen, background check, confidentiality agreement
    • Driver’s license
    • Up-to-date immunizations: Varicella, MMR, Hepatitis B, Influenza
    • A minimum GPA of 2.70 on prior college work
    • A minimum science GPA of at least 2.70
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: (573) 729-7071, ext. 7312
  • Are Online Options Available? Yes
  • Types of programs
    • An ADN with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations

9. Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College developed the first paramedic-to-RN program in the state of Colorado. Graduates earn an ADN and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure.

The school boasts cutting-edge technology to help enhance students’ RN education and experience. Some courses even include simulation center experience at the St.Mary-Corwin Medical Center which provides essential nursing clinical experience and competency.

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $324.70 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $643.35 per credit hour
  • Program length: 1 year (not including 1 year of prereq courses)
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application deadline: Nov 15th
  • Requirements
    • Complete an application online at Pueblo Community College Nursing from October 1 to November 15.
    • Complete all required prerequisite courses
    • Must have two (2) years of paramedic work experience
    • Must have an unencumbered license. 
    • Undergo a background check and drug screen
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 719-549-3200
  • Are Online Options Available?  Yes
  • Types of programs
    • An ADN with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations

10. San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College provides paramedics and LPNs with a bridge program that can help them earn licensure as an RN fast.

The parametric-to-RN bridge program prepares students to earn as ADN and sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Educators within the program report that this program is for students if:

  • They are flexible
  • Technology-driven
  • Want an accelerated program
  • Want to maintain a healthy work/life balance

This program offers face-to-face classes on campus, usually three days per week, including clinical rotations. Clinical assignments are scheduled in cooperation with local health facilities. 

Additional program information:

  • Tuition: 
    • In-district Texas resident: $78 per credit unit
    • Out-of-district Texas resident: $135 per credit unit
    • Non-Texas resident/international: $210 per credit unit
  • Program length: 4 semesters and one summer term
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application deadline: Spring 2023 TBD
  • Requirements 
    • Complete online application
    • Complete all required prerequisites
    • Current licensure as a paramedic in Texas
    • CPR certification
    • Proof of honorable discharge from the military
    • HESI A2 Admission Exam
    • Copies of all transcripts with a grade of “C” or higher
  • Contact Info 
    • Email:
    • Phone number: 281- 998-6150
  • Are Online Options Available? Yes
  • Types of a programs
    • An ADN with a combination of on-campus, online, and hybrid classwork and clinical rotations
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Paramedic-to-RN programs are designed to give you the knowledge you need as quickly as possible so that you can take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and apply for your license.

In addition to recognizing and counting your paramedic experience and training towards your degree attainment, many Paramedic-to-RN bridge programs provide the ability to avoid taking otherwise required classes by taking examinations for class credit.

This “testing out” expedites the process and gives paramedics a fast track that moves them beyond the basics they already know and directly to lessons specific to nursing care.


Paramedic-to-RN bridge programs offer numerous advantages, including:

  • Acknowledgment of your existing knowledge, training, and clinical experience
  • Flexibility, allowing you to learn while you work and accommodating your busy lifestyle
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid
  • Efficient and economical time management, offering the ability to earn your RN degree faster
  • Rolling admissions mean that you can begin whenever you’re ready 
  • Online accessibility means you can learn wherever you are
  • Full and part-time programs available
  • Less costly than degrees earned in traditional educational settings

Types of Paramedic to RN Bridge Programs

As a paramedic looking to become a registered nurse, you can choose between 2 types of paramedic to RN bridge programs: 

  1. Paramedic-to-ADN Bridge Programs
  2. Paramedic-to-BSN Bridge Programs

Which one is right for you will depend on how much time and money you want to commit to your education right now, and what your ultimate career goals are. 

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is faster and generally cheaper than a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), which is why many aspiring nurses choose that route. If you need to start working as soon as possible, or don’t have the money for a Bachelor’s degree, it’s a great option. 

On the other hand, if you have the time and money and want to earn a higher salary and have more career opportunities, it may be worthwhile to earn your BSN. Many hospitals prefer hiring nurses that have bachelor’s degrees and they can earn higher wages. 

Paramedic-to-ADN Bridge Programs

A paramedic-to-ADN bridge program is an accelerated program that will take you from a paramedic to a registered nurse. With an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can generally complete the program in one to two years and you can do it either online or in-person.

Upon completion of your ADN, you’ll be eligible for entry-level registered nurse positions. 

They also have the opportunity to later pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. These programs are frequently available at vocational schools, community colleges, and online.

Paramedic-to-BSN Bridge Programs

Paramedics who pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree generally complete their program in two to four years. These programs can be either full-time or part-time.

Registered nurses with a BSN degree may be eligible for a wider range of career opportunities than ADN-degreed nurses, but the program takes longer to complete. 

The BSN programs involve a more rigorous course of study that provides credit for paramedic training and experience and combines it with a required number of courses in nursing theory and clinical experience supported by requirements for general education coursework.

Online Paramedic-to-RN Programs

Online paramedic-to-RN programs offer tremendous flexibility, giving you the option of continuing to work while advancing your career. These programs recognize and give credit for the training hours, education and certifications that you have already achieved and allow you to earn your RN degree in much less time than a traditional program would. 

Program Accreditation

When choosing a program, your first requirement should be accreditation. Only an accredited paramedic-to-RN program assures potential employers that your education has met the evidence-based standards that they require of their registered nurse employees.

The two accrediting bodies for RN programs are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), whose certification is specific to those earning Bachelors’ degrees and higher, and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), which accredits all nursing degrees.

Accredited Paramedic-to-RN bridge programs are available all around the country through community college programs as well as at private colleges and state universities. This makes it possible to select a program that meets all of your needs, including geographic convenience, cost and reputation.

Program Requirements 

Each school offering a paramedic-to-RN program will have its own requirements, but most require at least one year of paramedic experience. Additionally, students who are considering applying will likely be asked to meet the following basic prerequisites for admission:

  • Proof of either a high school diploma or GED 
  • Transcripts indicating the courses taken in high school and beyond, as well as grades earned
  • Proof of meeting prerequisite course requirements for relevant classwork
  • Proof of a current BLS/CPR certification
  • Completion of a program for Emergency Medical Services accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) within the last 3 years
  • Proof of holding an unrestricted and current state or National Paramedic Registry Certificate
  • References (personal, professional, or both)
  • Proof of having up-to-date immunizations 
  • Proof of having passed the HESI (Health Education Systems Incorporated) exam with a minimum grade 

Paramedic-to-RN Classes 

A good deal of time will be spent on theory of nursing courses and comprehensive care techniques, patient assessment, and the different specialty areas in which a registered nurse is most likely to practice.

Clinical training will teach paramedics skills that are significantly different from what they have been exposed to in urgent-care situations, including mental health care, managing chronic illness, and promoting wellness.

Prerequisite classes may include physiology and anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, psychology, and composition, while nursing courses will cover the areas that paramedic training did not prepare you for, including clinical assessment, nursing theory, basics of research and exposure to the many areas of care that deal with non-emergent patients. 

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Your program may also include management and leadership classes. This is especially true if you are pursuing a BSN degree. 

Programs will also require laboratory hours and clinical rotations in keeping with local nursing requirements, either through established partnerships with healthcare facilities affiliated with the program or through internships that the students arrange for themselves. 

How Long Do Paramedic-to-RN Bridge Programs Take?

Paramedic-to-ADN programs generally take just a few semesters to complete, and most paramedics are able to earn their RN degrees in about a year and a half. Students who are pursuing full-time studies can usually complete these programs in under 16 months. 

Most programs require just 36 credit hour requirements of nursing courses in addition to the credits earned for prerequisite classes, for a total of approximately 72 hours.

Program Cost

Every paramedic-to-RN bridge program will have its own costs, and much will depend upon whether the accelerated program leads to an ADN degree or a BSN degree. 

Geography often plays a significant role in the price of a credit, as well as whether you choose a public or private college or a community college program.

Whichever program you pursue, you are likely to find that the cost is significantly lower than attending a 4-year program, as most paramedic-to-RN bridge programs can be completed in just three semesters.

It is also important to remember that whatever the cost, you are likely to see a significant salary increase in transitioning from a career as a paramedic to a career as an RN.

How to Pay for a Paramedic-to-RN Program

Transitioning from a career as a paramedic to one as a registered nurse will expand your career opportunities and enhance your earning potential, but in order to achieve this goal you need to be able to pay for the Paramedic-to-RN program that you choose to attend. 

Fortunately, there are many options available to support you in your goal, including grants, scholarships and loans.

Before we dig into the details about paramedic to RN programs, it’s important to know why you may want to pursue a career as an RN. There are so many benefits to building on your paramedic training and experience and pursuing a degree as a registered nurse. Here are some of the top reasons: 

1.) RNs Earn More Than Paramedics 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median paramedic salary in 2022 was $49,090, while registered nurses earned a median salary of $81,220. This means registered nurses are earning more than DOUBLE the salaries of paramedics.

2.) RNs Have More Options On Where They Can Work

As first responders, paramedics’ work settings can vary, but only to a small degree: they work in ambulances, helicopters, ships, and other areas where immediate urgent assessment and care is required. 

Registered nurses are able to work in a much wider range of settings, from physicians’ offices to all areas of hospitals, from schools to nursing homes. 

3.) RNs Have More Career & Specialty Opportunities

Paramedics work in one specialty area and with one purpose: to quickly assess and evaluate the situation, then take action to provide the medical care needed until the patient can be transferred into the hands of another healthcare professional.

Registered nurses are able to choose from a wide range of care areas and to focus on particular areas of interest such as pediatrics, oncology and geriatrics, as well as emergency care.  

4.) RNs Have More Opportunities for Patient Engagement

While paramedics make essential medical decisions, their interactions with patients are necessarily brief and driven by a sense of urgency.

Registered nurses have the ability to work with patients in a more slow-paced and thoughtful manner, establishing an in-depth connection and managing patient wellbeing over an extended period of time.

5.) RN Jobs Can Be Less Stressful 

As a paramedic, your job is perpetually fast-paced and defined by episodes of stress in which you are constantly tasked with making life-or-death decisions. Registered nurses can work in care settings that allow a slower pace, greater predictability, and less job burnout. They also can rely on other team members who also share the responsibilities of a specific patient’s care

6.) RNs Have More Opportunity for Advancement

RNs have more opportunities to advance into supervisory and management positions, as well as to pursue advanced degrees that introduce them to other careers: they can become Nurse Educators or Nurse Practitioners, or earn their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

Choosing to pursue a registered nurse degree is a big decision that should be based on your own personal goals, dreams, and needs. If you’re not certain about whether to move forward, it’s a good idea to consider what your job responsibilities are now and compare them to how having an RN degree will change your role.

  • Rather than working in a perpetually high stress and unpredictable environment that takes a physical and emotional toll, you can choose a work setting that is focused on a sustained and predictable level of patient care 
  • Your patient care will shift from addressing acute and varying situations to making decisions and providing care in whatever area you choose as a specialty
  • While still working with autonomy, you become part of a care team
  • You can remain in emergency or other acute care settings while using your education and professional judgment to make decisions that go beyond stabilizing patients 
  • You will have a wider selection of settings in which to work
  • You will have a greater connection with the patients you treat

Once you have earned your RN degree, you will have greatly expanded your knowledge and clinical skills, while boosting your earning power and your opportunity to move into patient care areas that are of interest to you. While the job market for paramedics is expanding, there are significantly more opportunities available to RNs, as well as the chance to continue to grow within the field and pursue more advanced degrees.

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